Where can I get one of these umbrellas you can wear as a hat? I might need it this weekend if I head out to the fishing hole. At least be sure to take a raincoat…and a change of shoes and a dry set of clothes in the event nothing escapes the rain.
NEWS TO KNOW
- Boat Ramp Re-Opens: Ochise Landing Boat Ramp in Dodge County re-opens after renovations. This ramp will give boaters, paddlers and anglers improved access to the Ocmulgee River. More info HERE.
- Christmas List Suggestions: If you are stuck thinking of the perfect gift – for you, a family member or a friend, we have some great suggestions!
This week, we have reports from Southwest, North, Central and Southeast Georgia. Stay safe, warm and dry if you go out to Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
The South Georgia weather is cooling off and fishing at Silver Lake PFA is following suit…with the exception of one pond. House Pond has been producing nice bluegill both from boats and the new earthen fishing piers. Anglers are having the most luck with the tried and true “red wiggler under a bobber” presentation. Evening seems to be the best time to catch these fun fighters. If the fishing isn’t enough to draw you South Georgia, then check out that sunset!
LAKE WALTER F GEORGE
It appears that bass are spread throughout both shallow and deeper water in Lake George at the moment. In shallower water they are staying near cover and wood structures. If you find those deeper fish on your sonar, you’ll will have to work for it if you want to get a bite. The crappie are spread out as well. Try focusing your efforts around submerged structures an docks. Minnows seem to be out performing jigs at the moment but it’s worth trying your luck with both bait types.
Stripers and Hybrids are fighting and biting as their annual feeding begins! If you want to try your luck, they seem to be around schooling baitfish in 7-12ft of water. The end of the lake towards the dam is hot spot at this time of year. Bass fishing is still going strong and with reports of bass also around baitfish in 6-12ft of water. Though keep in mind if the weather cools the bass will be moving to deeper water following the bait. Crappie bites are still good on minnows but have been found more around grass lines.
Crappie are still biting, though you’ll need to be crafty to find them in the deeper water along the brush and underwater structures. Some anglers recommend fishing around grass beds, boat docks, or flats near the old river channel with 10-20ft of water. Live bait or small jigs should work well for you. Also keep your eye out for gulls showing you where the shad schools are along the southern portion of the lake, as this is the best place for hybrid bass this time of year. Don’t forget to take your big fish to Flint River Outdoors to join in on their monthly big fish contest!
(Fishing report courtesy of Brent Hess, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Allatoona Bass (Report courtesy of Tournament angler Matt Driver) — Lake Allatoona is down 8.2 feet, 50s. Bass fishing in fair. These fish are in transition to deeper hideouts but will have completed that task by the end of the month. The jerk bait bite is getting good with water temperatures cooling. The Spro McStick and McStick 95 in natural shad patterns fished around bluff walls and points at the mouths of creeks is a real productive deal. Add a tensile tail to the back of the jerk baits. Use a 6 foot 6 inch medium rod and 10 pound test Sunline fluorocarbon line, and mix the retrieve up. If the water is stained, the jerk bait bite goes away slow roll a spinnerbait or the Scrounger. If there are a couple of warm days in a row the fishing will pick up. Fish shallow wood where we find rocks close by as the sun on them. Use a ¼ or 3/8 ounce Stanley jig in the black and blue with a Zoom Salty Chunk in a green pumpkin. Fish this bait all around the wood and rocks. With a couple of warm days, use the smaller ¼ ounce Rat T Trap in the chrome and black or a Rapala Shad Rap in the middle to back of the creeks where there are schools of baitfish.
Allatoona Linesides (Report courtesy of Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service) — Line sides fishing is good despite all the rain we have had the past two weeks. Good news is, the sea gulls are starting to show up as well as the big hybrids. Mid lake is the place to be right now. There is tons of bait out over the river channel from Galt’s Ferry to Stamps Creek. The birds are a dead giveaway right now. Find the gulls chances are the fish are there too. The live bait bite this fall is the best bet. Thread Fins and small gizzard shad are producing good numbers. For a big fish be sure to take some big shad. Free lines and Boards are working well early. But after the sun comes up we are changing over to down lines. Trolling is good who the umbrella rigs 120 feet behind the boat at speeds between 2.4 to 3.1 miles per hour. This is my favorite time of the year to be on the water.
LAKE HARTWELL: (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com). Lake Hartwell is down 3.3 feet 50’s.
Hartwell Bass: Bass fishing is fair. The Lake is turning over and the fishing is tough. There are some areas of the lake that will still hold some feeding fish and they are biting in your location do not leave them. The baitfish are making their fall transition now, too, so that makes it tougher because the fish will be there today and gone tomorrow. The shallow fish are a little more predictable and can be caught on crankbaits and plastics, especially on wood and rocks in the creeks and on main lake ditches. Once the water settles and clears back up the next few weeks, the fishing will be good. When this happens target bigger aggressive fish with a jig or a crankbait. For numbers of fish use a drop shot rigged with a Zoom Z Drop or finesse worm. Also keep a Zoom Super Fluke ready because the bass are likely to come up schooling anywhere this time of year.
LAKE LANIER Lake Lanier is down, 1.1 feet, 50s.
Lanier Bass (Report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770 366 8845 Pjohnson15@hotmail.com) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. The fish are scatter throughout the water column from 2 feet to sixty feet. The shallow bite seems to be better on points, rock walls and rocky banks that have deep water nearby. Crankbaits, like a Rapala DT6 have been producing fish for about the first two hours of the day. Try to fish this baits more parallel to the bank than straight at it. A shakey head with a green pumpkin speed vibe worm will draw and lot of strikes in the rocky areas also. It is also worth checking docks in the fifteen to thirty foot depth for the worm or jig bite. When moving deep for the fish look for some type of structure in the ditches in the thirty five to fifty foot range. We have been working this areas with a Spotchoker underspin, a Georgia Blade spoon and a Dropshot. The white with red eyes and the white with silver eyes Spotchoker with either a pearl super fluke or a blue Keitech have been the best combinations. Work the Spotchoker very slow and then slow down some more. This bait has been most effective worked right on the bottom. The fish are not grouped up tightly yet so this is a bait you can cover a bigger area with. When we do see a school of fish on the Pan Optics, we will drop the spoon or the Dropshot directly on them. It’s interesting with the new electronics to watch the fish react to the bait. We have been using the white Georgia Blade half or three quarter ounce spoon and on the Dropshot the Blue Lily or Morning Dawn worm. We are using either a three eights or half ounce weight on the Dropshot due to the depth and the wind. When you do see a group of fish you want to get your bait to them as quickly as possible. Be flexible with your fishing right now as the fish are still in transition to their winter homes. A small change in water temperature can make a big difference in their location. Their biting so Go Catch ‘Em!
Lanier Bass Fishing: Report courtesy of Lanier Jim on the GON forum) — We were fishing the ditches in about 45′ to 50′ of water with the Lanier Baits drop shot, Damiki, and spoon from Lanier Baits. The big girls wanted to play. The bite is only going to get better too with these deep mega schools until the end of February. See some great photos of their catches HERE.
Lanier Stripers (report is courtesy of Buck Cannon, Buck Tales charters 404 510 1778) — Stripers on Lanier are in the creeks and are growing. The best bet is the down line bite using small trout and blue backs over 50 to 70 foot bottom. Set the down lines at lines down 30 to 40 feet deep and pull baits 5 mph. The planer boards is still an option pulling the bait 30 to 40 feet behind the boards. Find the bait using your electronics and when the fish show up put a spread out. Fish the area for 20 to 30 minutes and if no action use the side scan technology and find them again. Any change in the bottom floor could be productive so be positive and wear your life jackets because the water is cold and you won’t last long if you fall over board.
Lanier Crappie (report is courtesy of Call Captain Josh Thornton 770 530-6493) — Crappie fishing is good. The water temperatures are in the mid 50’s. The crappie are pretty consistently holding around 10 to 15 feet deep over varying depths. The biggest fish we have been catching have been coming from vertical jigging in about 25 to 30 foot of water. If looking for big numbers we go look for a dock in 20 to 40 feet of water with brush near a main channel. The jig color we have had the most success with this week was a white with black sparkles. We also had had good luck with a gold and black moon jig tipped with a small minnow. We use the ATX Lure Company’s plastics. We use 5 pound test high visibility yellow k9 braid line (unless using a bobber) and a Piscifun reel on an Acc crappie Stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app. Find me on Facebook and like my pages @crappieonlanier & @fishingwitheverydayheroes
WEISS LAKE (Report courtesy of Mark Collins www.markcollins service.com). Weiss is at 4 feet 2 inches below full pool and clear, 46 to 49 degree’s.
Weiss Bass A lot of fish have moved back out to the river and creek channels. Drop shot rigs and Carolina rigs are catching fish.
Weiss Crappie fishing is good. The fish are still on the deeper brush and a lot are showing up on the creek and river channel ledges at 18 to 25 feet deep. Spider rigging with live minnows and jigs over brush and stumps is the way to catch fish in the fall. A few Crappie are still being caught shooting docks with jigs. Some fish are starting to suspend in the river channel in Little River and can be caught long line trolling with Jiffy Jigs.
Weiss Striper fishing is poor and no reports of any catches.
Weiss Catfish are biting in the bays and creeks in 8 to 15 feet of water and cut bait is working best.
West Point Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com). West Point Lake is down 4.6 feet clear 60s. Bass fishing is fair. Small shallow pockets have the bigger bass on days that the sun breaks out and warms up the water. Small jerk baits and split shot rigged worms are doing the most damage here. From mid lake south, start the morning, after the sun comes up, working the rip rap with a #5 or #7 Rapala Shad Rap in the perch or natural shad color. The bass are following the bait schools up on the rocks and are feeding on them like crazy. Look for any signs of bait on the surface near rip rap or on any rocky point. Fish a Texas rigged Zoom trick worm and also use the crank baits or Flukes to imitate a wounded baitfish.
West Point Lake Water Level Information: Find it HERE.
Trying for Trout? Read up: (Trout report provided from Orvis Fishing Reports) — Report for 12/6/21 Rain in the forecast! When we get rain every day of the week like we might this week, the Hooch can be tough. The fishing at Buford Dam right after a release will be the best bet. Between the turnover and blowout from the rain, the lower can have a tough week during these conditions. Check the flows, and be aware of where you are going in relation to the flows to make sure you are in a safe place. The Delayed Harvest has begun! We do have a slight twist on that this year if you live here in Atlanta. They will not be stocking the lower Chattahoochee below Morgan Falls. After a recent outbreak of Whirling Disease at the Buford Hatchery, a decision was made to not stock this section of the Hooch. So head North, or even just up above Morgan Falls for your Fall fishing this year. We are due some rain later this week which would NOT have been good news for those stocked fish, so that puts a positive spin on that! The North Georgia streams will be stocked as normal, and we are beginning to get some great weather. These fish are foreign to entomology at first. Bright, obnoxious flies are the way to get it done. Worms, Eggs, Y2K’s, Lightning Bugs and that sort of thing. Smaller streamers can be a great way to get them as well. If you have any questions at all, come on in and we will get you set up! The Hooch tailwater is still fishing very well when the water is low. The lake is in turnover right now, the water in the river is off color because of that. This happens every year, and it is not the end of the world. We can often get away with larger nymphs because of this, give them something they can see. Big stoneflies, Worms, and stuff that grabs their attention is key during this. They can still key in on smaller naturals, but bigger flies are often the ticket. The browns are getting into Spawn mode, so hopefully we will see more and more large browns being caught here soon. Be gentle with them, put them on back when you’re finished with them. Stay away from the Spawning Redds whenever possible. For the Chattahoochee, state regulations require a certified personal flotation devise be worn by all anglers from Buford dam south to highway 20. Pay special attention to water release info online, or call the number below for release schedules. Make sure to call the Corp of Engineers release hotline at 770-945-1466 before making your trip.
(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, Region Supervisor and fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant.
LAKE RUSSELL IS FULL 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. Small baits fished around rocky points and long point’s mid lake to the dam are catching some fish. Early use the Stanley jigs with a trailer by Zoom. A Zoom trick worm on a Spot Remover shaky head will catch fish in the lower lake creeks. The points with a lot of rock can be good once the sun warms them up mid-day. A good consistent cool water pattern is fishing deep structure with a spoon and a drop shot on the lower lake. Fish are starting to school up near the creek mouths relating to schools of shad. Use the Lowrance electronics to find the bait and structures these fish are holding on. Drop the spoon or drop shot down vertically through the school of fish and hold on. Be sure the bait fish are in the area and the fish will be close by.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 4.31 FEET 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. Look for relatively deep docks where the owners have mounted rod holders. Many will have deep brush that has been planted out in front of the dock. A sunny afternoon may pull some fish up on shallow warming rocks. Shallow stained water will also have the same warming effect, but there is very little stain in the lake this week. A slow crankbait will be a good bait to search for shallower fish, particularly if the bite picks up. A shad rap is hard to beat. Something like Bandit 300 or a deep running Fat Free Shad can also be good choices. At a slow retrieve, these relatively deep runners will bang noisily into shallow bottom and rock. They will also cover deeper ranges well. Fish the crank bait with a pause retrieve on a long cast that quarters or nearly parallels the bank. Anglers are jigging spoons around congregations of bait as well.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. More cold weather will slow the shallow bite. Bait and bass are moving toward deeper water. Look for fish in 15 to 25 feet of water with the Lowrance Sonar 83kHz frequency. Once you find them, fish vertically over them with 7/8-ounce silver spoons. Also fish a drop shot worm in watermelon and green pumpkin colors. Dipping the worm in some red or chartreuse JJ’s Magic will produce more bites in stained water. For the shallow bite work some docks in 7 to 10 feet of water with a 3/8-ounce jig. There may not be a lot of bites, but a few good ones may show up.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.6 FEET, 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. Right now, there are bass almost all over the water column. Fish the main lake points with worms and the jig and pig. The upriver fish are on the points and the dark Stanley’s in the 3/8th ounce sizes with a #11 Uncle Josh trailer is fair. Use the blacks and silver colors in these jigs; cast shallow on the points and docks up lake and work these baits slowly. The Zoom u tail worms in the red shad and green pumpkin on a light Texas rig are fair. Also try a watermelon seed lizard on the short 2-foot leader Carolina rig. Be sure to use the egg sinker in 1/2-ounce sizes on the rig. The Flat “A” Bombers in the fire tiger and baby bass colors are also fair on the points and around docks. Keep the line sizes down to 10-pound Sufix Elite and these baits will run a few feet deeper. Zoom Flukes in pearl are catching a few bass but the water needs to cool off several more degrees for this to become a good pattern. Watch the Fish and Game Forecaster to fish when the feeding times reflect more movement.
MARBEN PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water level: All ponds are full except Greenhouse. Greenhouse will reopen January 1st.
- Water clarity: Clear
- Surface temperature: 52 degrees
- Marben PFA Fishing Guide
Bass: Some bass have been caught in deep water adjacent to submerged creek channels in Fox and Bennett Lakes with plastic worms and jigs. A few anglers have been targeting bass early in the morning. These anglers are looking for bass as they feed on top water.
Crappie: Good. Fox, Margery, Bennett, and Dairy Lakes have been the most consistent for crappie, with most being caught while trolling jigs at 6-10 feet deep or by casting jigs with a float and retrieving slowly.
Bream: Some shellcracker and bluegill are being caught with pink worms fished on the bottom.
Hybrid bass: Many anglers have had good luck catching hybrids. Look for schooling shad early morning and late afternoon. Use a bait or lure that mimics a shad.
LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN 3.4 FEET, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. The mid-morning bite seems to be the most productive. Worms and jigs are the favorites. Use the deep diving crank baits on points and deep ledges off the points. Wood will be the key here in finding fish as the colder water is forcing them to hang tight. Suspending bass are located just off main lake or river points in 15 to 20 feet of water. Try the smaller Zoom lizard or a trick worm rigged Carolina style with a 3/16-ounce weight. Try to match the color of the water with the bait as this seems to be the most productive way to get that bite. All brush piles or stump beds that are holding fish need a good application of both the crank bait and Carolina rig. Some anglers are catching fish on a drop shot using 4.5 Robo Worms. On shaky heads, use Strike King Perfect Plastic finesse worms. We’re catching some around shaded docks and brush. Use the Lowrance Electronics and GPS to target creek bends and drops and also roadbeds.
(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, Region Supervisor and fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
The fishing is wide open right now while the rivers are still low, but this week’s rains have started most of them trending back up again. Take your pick this weekend. With a cold front forecasted for Saturday night, Saturday will likely be the best fishing day based on the information at the time of writing the report.
River gages on December 9th were:
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 3.2 feet and rising
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 5.4 feet and rising
- Waycross on the Satilla – 6.9 feet and falling (60 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 5.9 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 5.1 feet and rising
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 10.1 feet and rising
ALTAMAHA AND OCMULGEE RIVERS
Shane and Joshua Barber fished the Altamaha on Saturday and did well for bass. Their battery died after just a few hours, but they put it on them for that short time. They had 8 bass up to about 3 pounds, and all but one ate a Mann’s Jelly Worm. The other one bit a crankbait. Another angler fishing near them had a bass and a chain pickerel (jackfish). Shane said that all the fish were really fat. Tim Kegebein fished the Ocmulgee on Friday and had a good catch of bass. His fish ate crankbaits and plastic worms.
My son posted his white catfish angler award video on YouTube this week. If you are interested, you can watch it at Timmybug Productions on YouTube. The water in the upper river is right for boat angling or a float trip at the time of writing this report. The lower river is great this time of year for white catfish. Put a piece of shrimp on the bottom in the Woodbine portion of the river, and you can count on catching white catfish. Outgoing tide has been the best for me over the years.
Very few folks fished the east side this week, but the level is getting fishable, and the water is warming. The fliers should bite well over the next few weeks if warm temperatures continue. On the west side, the catfish bite has been good for anglers fishing the boat basin and sill. Worms and shrimp produced the most fish. The peak color on the cypress trees is coming to an end, and the falling needles will be pretty aggravating on the surface for the next week or so. Look for areas without many floating needles to fish. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.26 feet.
Crappie fishing has been tops in ponds. John Biagi fished a Baxley area pond on Sunday afternoon for a couple of hours and caught a slab crappie and about a dozen small bass throwing small Keitech swimbaits. Tyler Finch fished a pond this weekend to let the Savannah River fall out a little more. He landed 34 crappie up to about 2 pounds for the weekend. Live minnows produced his fish.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Tifton, more info HERE)
The crappie bite has been good, and the bigger fish have started eating. The biggest I’m aware of this week was a 2-lb., 4-oz. slab caught by Scotty Storey on Monday. He fooled the angler award-sized fish with a jig in Lake Patrick. Lots of catfish were caught all over the area with the warmer weather this week.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Trout fishing was great again this week. William Warner and a friend fished the Brunswick area on Saturday and caught 24 trout (a dozen keepers), a 14-inch weakfish, and a keeper flounder. They caught a few fish on a rootbeer/chartreuse back 4-inch Keitech swimbait under an Equalizer Float, but the vast majority of their fish came on 3-inch Keitech swimbaits fished close to the bottom on black 1/8-oz. Zombie Eye Jigheads (2/0 Gamakatsu Hook). Their biggest trout was 18 inches. The best colors of smaller Keietechs were chartreuse back pearl, electric shad, and perch. Ron Altman has been fishing the bank in the Brunswick area and doing great. His trip Tuesday produced a limit of trout and a couple redfish. He used chicken-on-a-chain Assassin Sea Shads for his catch. His catch included a trout over 20 inches. He said that he’s been doing well from the bank the last couple of weeks, and he’s caught at least one trout over 20 inches on each trip. One of his trips was half trout and half redfish, but most catches were primarily trout. He even caught a mullet on a Sea Shad (it was hooked in the mouth!). Bobby Thompson fished out of Shellman Bluff on Friday in the big tides and caught a dozen trout (5 keepers), 5 slot redfish, 3 black drum, and a throwback sheepshead. He caught the trout by trolling a jig and the other fish on live shrimp. A couple of anglers fished the Brunswick creeks on Thursday and caught 12 redfish, a nice trout and a 22-inch striped bass. They released them all. For guide trip information, call Capt. Greg Hildreth at (912) 617-1980 or check out his website. For the latest fishing information or live shrimp in the Brunswick area, check with J&P Bait and Tackle on Hwy 303 (912-282-9705).